Before getting her nose pierced, Jill Duggar called her parents, Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar, to inform them of her decision. In her memoir, Counting the Cost, Jill revealed that she initially got their voicemail and left a message. Her mom, Michelle, did pick up at one point but “didn’t have much to say” regarding the nose piercing.
Jim Bob certainly had a lot to say. When Jill got back from getting her nose pierced, she had a message waiting for her. “He pleaded with me not to do it. He told me I was making a huge mistake. He begged me to think about how it was going to affect my little sisters. He said I was ruining my life,” Jill wrote.
Jill was understandably upset over what her father had said to her. She spoke with her mother about the message. Michelle said Jim Bob “wasn’t in a good state of mind” when he left the message. Days later, Jim Bob wanted to have a call with Jill and Michelle. Jill refused and sent him a text instead.
“Honestly, I don’t really feel like talking when I feel like there might be a chance I’m just going to be verbally abused, manipulated, and emotionally hurt. It makes me want to shy away from any type of conversation,” Jill’s text began. She acknowledged that their “differences” can be hard, but she wanted to be “considerate.”
Jill hoped that her father would apologize for his response, but that didn’t happen. “He hated that hunk of metal in my nose,” Jill continued. “He despised how I was dressing in ways that put sexual thoughts in guys’ minds. Instead of his Sweet Jilly Muffin, I was now a threat to the rest of his children, and a threat to his authority.”
Jill and her husband, Derick Dillard, later used a mediator to talk with Jim Bob and Michelle. Jill and Derick wanted to talk about money they felt they were owed — but had never received — from 19 Kids & Counting and the spinoff, but their conversation was solely focused on Jill’s letter.
Jim Bob told Jill that her text was the “most disrespectful thing” he had ever read. He added, “You sent me a text message, Jill. You said I was verbally abusing you. I was so offended by that, too. You know in your heart that’s not right.” Jim Bob wanted Jill to apologize, but she didn’t. Jim Bob accused Jill of having a “guilty” conscience, and that’s when she snapped.
“You want to know why I’m crying? It’s that you think I’m some kind of horrible person just because I wear pants and have a nose ring,” Jill told her father. “You treat me like I’m a prodigal who’s turned her back on you. You treat me worse than you treat my pedophile brother [Josh Duggar].”
Jill also discussed the reaction she received from Jim Bob over wearing pants. Jim Bob and Michelle only allowed their daughters to wear long skirts and dresses growing up. Despite being 26 years old and married, Jim Bob called out Jill for not discussing her decision to wear pants with him and Michelle. “I cried when I got home. I felt embarrassed, humiliated, even though nobody else had been in the room with us,” Jill admitted. Counting The Cost: A Memoir, written by Jill, Derick, and Craig Brolase, is available now.